There’s no question, you know your cuts. Not the butchering porterhouse kind, the haircut type. You cruise through a crew cut, blast a buzz cut and never confuse an undercut. You’re possibly even a dab hand with the pompadour and its younger brother quiff.
But do you really know your barber shears? The type of steel, the handle design and blade all matter. Owning a fine set of barber shears will put you a cut above the rest.
When it comes to barber shears, not all shears are created equal. Just like haircuts really. You may have even experienced a poor quality shears and vowed you’d never put up with inferior shears again. Here’s what to look out for when you’re buying online.
The most important part of the design of a good pair of barbering scissors is the blade edge. You want your barbering scissor to have a bevel edge, or a semi convex, as this will handle the blades opening and closing thousands of times every cut. It will keep your scissors sharper for longer, and ensure you won’t be disappointed by a scissor that dulls after the first month of use in a busy barbershop.
There are many good quality steel shears but you guessed it, not all steel is created equal. Shears made from Japanese or German steel are considered the world’s finest quality. Scissor Tech prides itself on never stocking any scissors or shears below 440C steel or an HRC/Rockwell hardness of 57. We look for 440C, ATS314, VG10, Damascus steel with high levels of cobalt to increase hardness and durability, depending on the application. We’ve found some of Japan’s best steel is produced by Aichi and Hitachi.
Of course, they’re also corrosion resistant but they’re also more durable to being damaged, lighter, and offer smoother cutting.
There is no such thing as the perfect ergonomic pair of shears. We all have different shape and size hands so what fits like a glove for one barber will be too small for another. Also, every barber has their own cutting technique and method of holding their shears. The size of the finger and thumb rings impact on the comfort of the scissors too. Scissor Tech provides a free set of various sized inserts so you can choose the perfect fit.
Investing in good quality shears means they will stay sharp for longer. And your clients won’t walk out with split ends either. Sharp shears have also been linked to reduced wrist pain and strain compared to using a blunt pair. So the longer they start sharp the less chance of you suffering an injury.
Having your shears serviced regularly will not only keep them sharp but also extend their life. A busy salon may organise a local sharpener to visit and revive an old dull pair of scissors no one wanted to use. By adding a hard bevel, or serration an old pair left in the drawer can be transformed into a great blunt cutter. And a pair of shears you thought were nearing their end, can have their life extended saving you time and money.
You might have your tense or loose days but your shears shouldn’t. You need barber shears that have just the right amount of tension so the closing action is effortless. Using shears with the right tension can reduce the chance of fatigue. It’s important to learn how to tension your shears correctly. Read our guide on How to Tension and Care for your Scissors.
Sure, you can have your favourite pair of shears, but you need multiple pairs to do the job. Shorter blades are best for precision cuts while longer blades are good for tackling a serious ponytail. While a longer blade takes some getting used to, long blade shears can save you valuable time with each haircut you do.
A busy barber shop needs premium quality shears that are durable to damage and reliable to cut, chip and snip away all day. Suave and sexy looking shears don’t hurt either.
YASAKA 7 INCH BARBERING
Made from hard Cobalt Japanese steel, they will last the distance. They have a semi offset handle position with a clam shaped convex edge that’s perfect for slicing.
The ergonomics of the scissors ensures you can spend many hours a day cutting and slicing. They offer a comfortable grip with your finger and thumb in a naturally comfortable position. The polished finish will match the quality of your haircuts.
7 INCH MATSUI VG10 MASTER BARBER ERGO MATTE BLACK LIMITED EDITION
If you prefer the dark side, these matte black shears might be your style. They’re also made from high quality cobalt-infused Japanese steel for superior hardness. Finished with a semi convex edge for that extra bit of grip that never goes astray. A super sharp edge gives you a neat finish every time. The offset handle is ergonomically-designed keeping your thumb in a natural position.
Comes with a case, razor, spare blades, shear oil, cleaning cloth, tension adjuster, and spare finger inserts.
2020 MATSUI PRECISION MATTE BLACK CUTTING SHEAR
Another meticulous Matsui matte black pair of shears with just a hint of rose gold on the trim. These limited edition shears could be just what you’re after.
Made from Premium Hitachi 440C Japanese Steel with a premium titanium coating, the shears will look good despite any harsh treatment. Plastic inserts make sure the shears are the perfect fit for your fingers. The edge is well suited for blunt cutting and scissor over comb cutting.
Comes with a Scissor Tech case to protect your scissors, razor, spare blades, scissors oil, microfiber cleaning cloth, tension adjuster and spare finger inserts.
JOEWELL CRAFT 01 SERIES
Looking for a versatile pair of shears? These could be the ones. The bamboo leaf blade shape means they’re perfect for everything from wet cutting to texture and slide cutting. Made from a high grade Japanese steel, they are lightweight with a low profile tension screw. The offset handle shears will feel as comfy as a pair of slippers, but way more stylish.
Treat ‘em mean and keep them keen. If you’re hard on your tools, you might be in the market for a pair of shears with superior durability. These Joewell shears offer an impressive 2.5 times longer life than your average shears.
But their toughness doesn’t mean they compromise on cutting quality. They deliver power, sharpness, and smooth cutting action. The cobalt base alloy and hard titanium coating make them ideal for barbers with metal allergies.
The sword blade and convex blade provide a superior cutting operation and the offset handle and removable finger rest make them comfortable for long hours of use.
YASAKA 7.0 INCH DELUX BARBER SET
A combo of barbering shears and thinning shears means you’re set to tackle any head of hair. The set includes the Yasaka 7.0 Inch Barbering Shears already mentioned plus a 6.0 inch top of the range thinning shears. Made from extra hard steel, the thinning shears are resistant to corrosion and will stay looking this good for many years.
MATTE BLACK MATSUI MASTER BARBER SHEAR & TEXTURIZER COMBO
If it’s texturizing shears you’re after, try these on for size. The combo set includes Matsui Matte Black Master Barber Shear & 6 Inch 14 Tooth Texturizer shears.
Choose between the 5.5″, 6″, 6.5″ or 7″ Matte Black Shear Set. Comes with cleaning cloth, oil pen, tension key, warranty/care guide card & extra complimentary finger loops.
SOZU ESSENTIAL ORIENTAL BARBERING SCISSOR
If you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on quality, the Sozu is an excellent choice. They aren’t all plain Jane, there’s a delicate little detail on the handle. Available in 7″, they’re perfect for someone with a larger hand.
A good pair of shears is easy to take for granted, which is exactly why we believe they deserve some respect. Protect them with your life and they’ll last you a lifetime.
Show your craft some love and buy yourself some new barber shears or drop us a line with any queries.